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Once Upon A Time Quiet Minds: An unexpected death

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OUAT: Quiet Minds

Rating:
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Episode Cast:

Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard (Ginnifer Goodwin), Evil Queen/Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla), Prince Charming/David Nolan (Josh Dallas), Belle (Emilie de Ravin), Baelfire/Neal Cassidy (Michael Raymond-James), Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), Henry Mills (Jared Gilmore), Wicked Witch (Rebecca Mader), Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), Robin Hood (Sean Maguire), Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), Lumiere (Henri Lubatti)

Once Upon A Time starring Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla airs Sunday at 8 p.m/7c.

In last week’s episode, Rumplestiltskin returned from the dead. Now we learn how he was revived and the root cause of his apparent insanity. Plus, Zelena is found out, Regina and Robin get a little closer and Belle and Neal get a little help from Lumiere in this week’s episode, Quiet Minds. Prepare to be sad; it’s not as fun as it sounds.

A hasty choice

In Fairytale Land, Belle and Neal attempt to revive Rumpletstiltskin with the aid of the newly discovered Lumiere. He’s a human trapped by Rumplestiltskin inside a candelabra that can only be seen when lit. In reality, Zelena is the one who trapped him and is manipulating him to revive The Dark One/Rumplestiltskin.

Belle and Neal enlist his help and he guides them to a hidden key with a triangle symbol that opens The Dark One’s vault. However, Belle discovers the truth when Lumiere lies about his time spent in Rumplestiltskin’s library. She unsuccessfully tries to convince Neal to find another way to revive Rumplestiltskin but Neal is hasty and desperate to reunite with his dad. So he plunges the key into the vault and it becomes red hot, branding his hand with the triangle symbol. Rumplestiltskin lives, but the price is that Neal has to die. Fighting the inevitable, Rumplestiltskin absorbs Neal’s entire body into himself to save his son a second time.

A final farewell

Back in Storybrooke, a very much alive Neal returns. He’s admitted to the hospital with a mysterious burn on his hand. Hook weirdly volunteers to watch him while the others search for Rumplestiltskin and the Wicked Witch. If you recall, Hook, Emma and Neal are caught in a love triangle, which has caused them both to ignore the fact that Hook was practically a second father to Neal as a boy. Hook clearly recognizes the burn because he lets Neal go with an emotional hug and a goodbye. It’s not like him to be so giving, even if he is trying to impress to Emma.

Speaking of Emma, she and Charming find Rumplestiltskin in the woods. He’s stir crazy and can’t get the voices out of his head. After a flying monkey attack, Rumple escapes and Neal appears. He and Emma have a brief chat and then he collapses. His face shape shifts to Rumplestiltskin and Neal asks Emma to use her magic to separate him from his father.

The plan works but Neal dies in the process as Rumple and Emma look on. Rumplestiltskin waits with the body but not before telling Emma who Zelena is. The episode ends with Zelena getting away and gloating over her complete control over Rumplestiltskin thanks to the knife and Neal's death.

Analysis

This was pretty depressing episode save for the flirt-a-thon between Regina and Robin. It’s too bad she ran away after seeing his lion tattoo. It was getting good. Mostly the impression that’d left is that Neal’s death was such a waste. Not only did he repeat his father’s mistake by making a hasty choice, the love triangle established in Season 2 just got tossed out the window before there was ever a real fight. Plus, Henry still doesn’t have his memory and when he comes to, he is going to have to relive his father dying and unlike his Neverland death, this time it’s real. It was such a quick exit and you can’t help but wonder if more could have been done with Neal’s character. The storyline was there, although to be fair everybody wanted Emma with Hook, so maybe this wasn’t such a bad choice. Still, you feel bad for Neal. He had his moments and when he did, he was awesome. R.I.P. Neal.

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